What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic works by identifying and correcting the underlying source of your health problem. Chiropractic care is based on the fact that the body is a self-healing entity. However, sometimes it needs a bit of help.
Your Doctor of Chiropractic will offer your body that helping hand, thus allowing it to heal itself and providing a long-term solution. People of all ages -from newborn to elderly- can be treated with chiropractic.
There are hundreds of chiropractic techniques and your doctor will choose the one most appropriate for you and your condition. Most conditions can be treated, even after surgery.
If yours is not a chiropractic case, you will be referred to appropriate specialist. A wide range of conditions can benefit from chiropractic care. Here is an abridged list of conditions most commonly treated. If your specific health concern is not listed, call our clinic and speak to a qualified Doctor of Chiropractic.
- Back pain
- Buttock, leg and foot pain
- Slipped disc
- Pinched nerves
- Neck pain and whiplash
- Shoulder arm and hand pain
- Headaches, migraine and dizziness
- Weakness, numbness, pins and needles
- Muscle tension
- "Wear and tear", arthritis and joint pain
- Sports injuries
Almost everybody suffers with back pain at one time or another. Back pain may vary from slight niggling ache to sharp debilitating pain that can affect every part of the back and also radiate to other areas of the body.
Some causes of back pain include bad posture, poor seating, unsupportive beds and pillows, incorrect lifting, sedentary lifestyle, stress (both physical and mental), trauma, sports injuries, pregnancy, "wear and tear"… the list goes on. Your chiropractor will identify the source of your problem, treat the cause of pain and advise how to best keep it from recurring.
Buttock, leg and foot pain
Leg pain doesn't always mean there is something wrong with the leg itself. Because of the way our nervous system functions, you may, for example, have pain in your foot when the problem actually lies in your lower back.
Your chiropractor will be able to identify whether the source of your problem is where you feel the pain (such as that with arthritic pain), or if it is radiating from another part of your body, and then treat you accordingly.
Sciatica is a general term describing pain from irritation of the sciatic nerve and its branches. The sciatic nerve is a collection of spinal nerve roots arising from the lower back. These nerves can become aggravated by abnormal functioning of the spinal vertebrae, bulging of the spinal discs (often called "slipped disc") or even by tight muscles around it.
Sciatic pain can be felt anywhere in the leg and it can even extend to the foot. Even when sciatica originates from the lower part of the spine, low back pain isn't necessarily present. Your chiropractor will identify the cause of the irritation and provide treatment at the source of the problem.
The intervertebral discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. On the outside they are layer upon layer of very tough fibrous material, while the inside remains more gel-like. Technically, discs cannot slip, because of the way they are attached to the vertebra above and below. However, they can bulge, herniate, collapse and even rupture.
The physical changes in the disc will cause abnormal function in the joint and can result in local pain. The bulging disc can compress on the spinal cord and nerves and produce pain in an area distant from the site of the problem. Sciatic pain in the leg is a good example. You may find that the pain will eventually subside.
However, if spinal dysfunction remains uncorrected, you may develop irreversible changes in the spine that can cause problems later on in life. Your chiropractor will determine whether chiropractic treatment is appropriate for your case. Most patients find remarkable improvement in their symptoms and are soon able to return to normal daily activities without painkillers and without surgery.
Pinched nerves are relatively rare. Whilst it is not very common to have a bone compressing on a nerve, it is much more common to irritate a nerve by abnormal function or loading of the spinal vertebra.
Irritation and compression can result in pain, muscle weakness, pins and needles, numbness and burning sensation. Once the exact location of nerve irritation has been identified, your chiropractor can then get on with the job of getting you out of pain and on the road to recovery.
Neck pain and whiplash
Today's modern lifestyle often causes problems in the neck and shoulder area. Poor work position, repetitive tasks, stress and disuse of the full range of motion of the neck can all cause pain, discomfort and muscle tension in the neck, at the base of the skull and over the top of the shoulders.
These problems are often associated with frequent headaches. Whiplash injuries are common especially as a result of car accidents. Whiplash can occur even at relatively low speed impact and does not necessarily cause any pain at the time of the accident, because of the body's ability to compensate for injuries. Problems can arise weeks, months or even years later. Speak to your chiropractor to find out how you can best get out of pain and stay that way.
Shoulder arm and hand pain
As with leg pain, for arm pain the first and most important thing to do is to determine what is causing it. Your chiropractor has been trained to accurately diagnose the problem and treat accordingly. Whether the pain is arising from frozen shoulder, tennis/golfers elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive strain injury or radiating from dysfunction in the neck, your chiropractor will explain to you the best course of action.
Headaches, migraine and dizziness
Headaches are very common. Because they are so common, most people think it is normal to have headaches. It is not! Painkillers might give some relief from your headaches, but they do not address the cause of the problem.
There are many types of headaches. Tension headaches are often associated with our hectic lifestyle and stress. Migraines can be very debilitating and disturbing. Sometimes there is no headache to speak of, but symptoms may include visual and hearing disturbances, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, even vomiting.
Dizzy spells can occur as part of migraine symptoms, with headaches or on their own with no other associated symptoms. After your chiropractor has carefully diagnosed your condition, he can then give you recommendations for care. If yours is not a chiropractic case, you will be referred to the appropriate health care provider.
Weakness, numbness, pins and needles
When a nerve is being irritated, or compressed, then the normal flow of nerve impulses will be compromised. In many cases this can result in muscular weakness, pins and needles, burning sensation or numbness of the skin. Each nerve supplies specific muscle, reflex and area of the skin. Your chiropractor can use this information to pinpoint the exact origin of your problem and then put together a treatment plan to address your individual needs.
Muscle tension is very common these days and it can vary from slight sense of tightness to agonising pain. If muscle tension is anything but transient, then it can start affecting the joints that the tight muscles cross. This may result in abnormal functioning of the joint or misalignment of the bone, as tight muscles are pulling it off normal alignment.
When the proper function of the joints is restored, soft tissues relax, as they can once again contract and relax normally. In most cases spinal manipulative therapy together with specific stretches produce maximum results and prevent problems from recurring.
"Wear and tear", arthritis and joint pain
People often talk about wear and tear of the joints. This can also be called arthritis, osteoarthritis, spondylosis, degeneration, spinal decay or degenerative joint disease. There are many forms of arthritis and it can affect people of all ages.
The most common form is osteoarthritis. This means that there are irreversible degenerative changes in the joints. While chiropractic cannot reverse these changes, it can promote healthier joints by improving their function and mobility, decrease pain and discomfort and help slow any further wear and tear.
Chiropractic can also decrease pain and speed up recovery as well as minimize resultant dysfunction with conditions such as tennis elbow, golfer's elbow, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive strain injury.
Scoliosis is a general term meaning sideways curvature of the spine. Looking at the ideal spine from the front or the back it would be completely straight. One shoulder or one side of the pelvis being higher than the other may be a sign of scoliosis.Whether scoliosis can be corrected with chiropractic care depends on the individual case.
Scoliosis often develops in early teenage years and the earlier you intervene, the easier it is to treat. When scoliosis has been present for a long time, the sideways curvature may not always be corrected, however the function of the spine can in most cases be improved, thus relieving any pain, discomfort -even breathing difficulties. Talk to your chiropractor to find out more.
Sports injuries are often problems that arise when increased functional demand is applied to a joint or body part that is not functioning properly in the first place. These might include spinal or pelvic misalignment, muscle imbalance and poor posture to mention but a few. Examples of sports injuries are: Pulled muscles, Tennis elbow, Golfer's elbow, cartilage dysfunction and tearing and Repetitive Strain Injury.
Your chiropractor can help you recover quicker, with less pain and with minimal resultant dysfunction. More importantly a chiropractor can uncover underlying dysfunction, and by correcting it, help prevent your problem from recurring. Many sportsmen simply wish to maintain their good health with regular chiropractic treatments. Athletes in particular have found a significant improvement in their sport performance through chiropractic care.
Many physical, mental and hormonal changes take place during pregnancy and these can put strain on a woman's body. Chiropractic care can help women through the pregnancy. Low and mid-back pain as well as pain in the pelvis and ribs are common during pregnancy.
Chiropractic care is suitable and safe throughout the pregnancy, during labour and after giving birth. Prenatal care will address spinal and pelvic problems and provide a drug free alternative to pain management.
It can also make giving birth easier by ensuring good alignment of joints and ligaments. The birth process is stressful for both the mother and the baby and many mothers choose to have a check-up with their chiropractor after giving birth as well as having their babies checked for birth trauma, joint misalignment and more.